An encyclopedia of yogic terminology and sanskrit words. (In progress.)
AdhibhutaThe consciousness immanent in physical creatures and the physical cosmos. It is the physical world, both the universe as a whole and the individual parts and beings of it.
AdhidaivaThe consciousness manifests in astral bodies and in the astral cosmos.
AdhiyagyaThe Supreme Creative and Cognizing Spirit; God. It is both the causal world (the world of thought where the most advanced souls go before becoming one with God) and God Himself, without the illusion of the physical or astral worlds.
AdhyatmaOversoul; God manifested as the soul of all beings.
AffirmationAn affirmation is a statement of truth which one aspires to absorb into his life.
AhankaraEgo, or ego-consciousness; causative self-awareness.
AhimsaNon-violence or non-injury; an attitude of harmlessness and a feeling of universal benevolence.
AnandaBliss or Divine Joy. It is also the name for a worldwide movement based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda and founded by Swami Kriyananda.
ApanaThe outgoing breath; descending energy in the astral (energetic, as opposed to physical) spine.
AparaprakritiThe outer world that we can experience through the senses.
AshtangaAshtanga Yoga (literally "eight-limbed yoga") is a system developed by the ancient yogic sage Patanjali oulined in his yoga sutras. It consists of eight progressive stages on the path to Self-Realization.
Astral BodyThe astral body is the type of body one possesses in the astral world, where most beings go after death. It is made of prana, or life force.
Astral worldA world of energy rather than physical matter made of vibrations of light and color, where most physical beings go after death and before reincarnating. It is also full of astral beings, and is hundreds of times larger and more beautiful and joyous than the physical world.
Avatar“Divine descent,” typically used to describe an incarnation of God such as Jesus Christ, Buddha, or Krishna.
BandhaLiterally "lock" or "closed." A particular type of yogic technique for raising the kundalini energy in the spine, which helps one to attain Self-realization.
Bhakti YogaBhakti yoga is union with God through devotion. A bhakti yogi thinks of God in personal terms. This helps the bhakti yogi to awaken love for God.
BhavSpiritual feeling or attitude; devotion; the religious attitude of immersing oneself in the thought of God.
BrahmanBrahman is the Indestructible and Supreme Spirit. It is in every atom of creation, but remains there as the Viewer, meaning it is not affected by the physical matter it is in. The individual soul is a part of Brahman.
BrahmanadiThe causal (deepest) spine. Raising one's energy through the brahmanadi is the last test a yogi must go through to attain full union with the Divine.